Kennedy Kewistep

Political Studies student, University of Saskatchewan

Kennedy Kewistep is a 19-year-old Anishinaabe/Saulteaux woman from Fishing Lake First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. As the second oldest of eight kids, her siblings are the reason for her motivation and passion towards academics. She is the first generation in her family to have not gone to residential school but still lives with the intergenerational traumas and legacy passed down from those before her. In high school, Kennedy was the only Indigenous student in her International Baccalaureate program. Often she found herself navigating complicated issues, as few people understood her personal views of and experiences in the world. She often had to represent her truth by educating classmates and teachers on the extent and accurate history of the deep injustices face by so many Indigenous communities. Because of this work, Kennedy was honoured as the recipient of the 2017 SaskTel Aboriginal Youth Award. Kennedy is currently in her third year of studies at the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in political studies and minoring in international studies and Indigenous governance. Having been selected to represent Canada at the international level on four occasions–from Kenya to Japan–her goal is to study abroad and upon returning, enter law school. One day she hopes to represent Indigenous Peoples on a global platform in order to create change and provide an equitable future for her siblings and her people.